It is about the emergent property of Collaboration that happens when a critical mass of people (or things) is interconnected and the technologies that facilitate collaboration.
…Collaboration comes in many forms:
The Social Computing form is what most of us see every day in Web 2.0. community tagging, etc., are all the most computationally trivial applications of collaboration.
Collaborative Filtering methods use popularity (ratings or clickstream) to find structure in chaos. Amazon, Digg, and even “most emailed articles” on the NYT are forms of collaborative filtering. It may not feel altogether Web 2.0-ish, but it is collaboration nevertheless.
Markets are a form of collaboration. The “market price” is a collective judgment of value even when individuals act privately and without regard for each other.
All of these forms of collaboration can be thought of as “discovery” applications. In fact, economists refer to “price discovery” as the function of a market. Discovery is the emergent effect when the collaborators are democratically organized, i.e. every input is equivalent and sequencing is irrelevant.
Collaboration is the Big Driver within Web 2.0 and nowhere is collaboration more valuable than when time is money – the time to assimilate information from the enterprise edge and the time to organize and respond. Prepare to see a wave of Enterprise Web 2.0 collaboration applications in the next 24 months. And, like every wave, it will be 5% innovation and 95% imitation.